09 Oct What are the benefits of sustainable living?
In short, sustainable living is living your everyday life in a way that reduces your use of the globe’s natural resources. There are a huge number of benefits of sustainable living, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a case of doing it or not: it’s a spectrum whereby any change is good.
Whilst ultimately the aim is to reduce your carbon footprint to the lowest possible levels, any reduction in your usage of the earth’s natural resources is beneficial. Being a way of life, individuals are more likely to succeed by making gradual changes to different aspects of their lives. For example, they may introduce changes to transport use, cleaning, diet, fashion or energy consumption.
With sustainable living, the idea is to live in harmony with the world around us, understanding that as individuals we have the power and responsibility to make a difference. Preserving and conserving the earth’s natural resources for future generations, with the general ethos of never taking more than we give, is important.
Environmentalist Lester R. Brown describes sustainable living as: “shifting to a renewable energy-based, reuse/recycle economy with a diversified transport system.”
We can all do our part to contribute, and both individuals and the planet benefits from sustainable living.
Why does sustainable living matter?
Resource extraction has more than doubled in the last 25 years. The earth cannot sustain this rate and the demands of an ever-growing global population. The consequences of depleting our natural resources, in some cases irreversibly, are wide ranging and include global warming and climate change, food and water shortages and extinction of species and biodiversity.
The advantages of sustainable living are that each individual takes responsibility for reducing their demand for natural resources whilst also replacing what they can, to the best of their ability.
The benefits of sustainable living
There are a wide number of benefits of sustainable living: benefits for the individual and benefits for the world and others.
Benefits to the individual
- Health: Your health benefits from sustainable living practices. A sustainable diet is typically a healthy diet. As the Vegan Society says: “veganism is the sustainable option when it comes to looking after our planet.” Food which is produced organically has less negative impact on the soil and ecosystems, but it also means that you aren’t consuming pesticides and chemicals from the farming process. It’s not just about your diet either. Sustainable living incorporates using modes of transport which don’t rely on fossil fuels, such as walking or cycling. These in turn improve your fitness and wellbeing.
- Costs: A tangible benefit for the individual is that sustainable living is cost effective living. If you fill up your reusable water bottle from home, or take in a ready-made coffee in a reusable cup, you spend less. If you’re being conscious about water consumption, lighting, heating and green energy, you’ll save money around the home too.
- Feel good benefits: We like to feel good. Taking a sustainable approach to life and our actions makes us feel good about ourselves. We know that we’re doing the right thing and being kind to ourselves, the planet, wildlife and other human beings. It just feels good. Isn’t it better to do the cleaning feeling good about yourself? What’s more, with such gorgeous sustainable living items, such as those we stock at Wearth, you can be sustainable and love the things around you.
- Connect with those around you: Sustainable living requires working with others in your local community. For example, you may swap veggies at harvest time, get involved in a community project, or buy in bulk together as well as sharing knowledge and skills. If you take your principles of sustainability into your business practices, this helps to build your reputation too.
Benefits to the planet and to others
- Reduced waste: One of the benefits to the planet of sustainable living is reduced waste. Less waste ends up in landfill, potentially leaching into surrounding soil and taking hundreds of years to biodegrade, if at all. There’s also less risk of harmful waste ending up in our oceans and endangering wildlife and ecosystems.
- Helping the next generation: At the moment, the next generations are going to inherit a planet depleted of natural resources. Biodiversity will have been lost and certain species gone forever. One of the core advantages of sustainable living is that it helps to protect the planet for future generations. As more people live sustainably, greenhouse gas emissions decrease, helping to heal the planet for the future.
- Efficiency leads to less pollution: With sustainability, efficiency is a central premise. The idea is to use less to do more. This may be a case of recycling, for example. The result is less pollution.
- Less dependence on non-renewable natural resources: If we, collectively, depend less on non-renewable natural resources and find alternatives, such as wind and solar power, then our earth has a chance to recover. Greenhouse gasses can be reduced and the negative impacts of climate change can be slowed and reversed.
How to live sustainably
As we said at the beginning, sustainable living is a spectrum. You can take steps towards it, gradually making changes as you are able. Here are some ways in which you can live more sustainably:
- Go plastic free: There are a number of different ways in which you can go plastic free including using shampoo bars instead of bottles, refillable kitchen and cleaning bottles, or using reusable sanitary protection.
- Reduce household waste: Take a zero waste approach to shopping, lunch when you’re not at home, or embrace zero waste cleaning.
- Reuse and recycle: Opt for reclaimed furniture, or products using recycled materials, and choose products which can be recycled or which biodegrade, such as this biodegradable phone case.
- Go vegan and eat local: Incorporating greater vegan elements to your diet, and choosing food with lower food miles, all helps towards sustainability. Growing your own food also helps.
Lastly, choose a reliable retailer that upholds your values, particularly with respect to sustainability. At Wearth, we source everything you could need ensuring it meets our own high standards of sustainable living.